College Football Week 9: Winners and Losers

Jake Myers

Winners

West Virginia

You never know what Mountaineer’s team is going to show up. After suffering losses to Texas Tech and Baylor, it looked like Neal Brown’s team was sinking, and Brown’s “seat” would be getting warm. Since then the Mountaineers have won in TCU and a huge win against Iowa State at home. With a few winnable games on the schedule coming up, West Virginia looks to ride this momentum to salvage a bowl game in 2021.

Michigan State

If we learned anything from Michigan State it’s that they are a tough football team. Down 16 points late in the third quarter, it looked like they were as overrated as many (including myself) thought they were. The Spartans dominated the fourth quarter on both sides of the ball. The weakness of Michigan State is their defense, but they found a way to force two big turnovers and lock down the Wolverines. Mel Tucker has the Spartans playing inspired football in East Lansing.

Auburn

The Tigers just keep grinding out wins. Auburn’s only two losses came to #1 Georgia and to Penn State in the Whiteout. Brain Harsin’s squad has improved since the beginning of the year. Bo Nix is doing a great job of taking care of the football, and it shows. If Auburn can run the table, the Iron Bowl will determine who goes to the SEC Championship.

Wisconsin

The Badgers were left for dead after losses to Penn State, Notre Dame, and Michigan. Looking back all three of those losses came to good teams. Went through a bit of a gauntlet but have a lighter schedule ahead. Wisconsin should win the next 3 games giving them 8 wins, with the regular-season finale against Minnesota isn’t just for Paul Bunyan’s Axe but for the West Division crown.

Losers

Iowa State

It’s October meaning Iowa State would just be hitting their stride. That looked to be the fact with last week’s win against Oklahoma State. This week the Cyclones had to go into a rainy Morgantown against a West Virginia team that is still a mystery. The biggest surprise was the Mountaineer offense being able to score 38 points on Matt Cambell’s defense. A close call at the end of the game may have sealed the Cyclone’s fate, but they lose another to a team that isn’t better than them.

Michigan

It was right there. Up 16 points late in the 3rd quarter, and in total control of the game. Michigan had to keep their thumb on the Spartan running game, take care of the football, and they would walk out of East Lansing with the Paul Bunyan trophy. Michigan’s defense couldn’t get off the field, and Kenneth Walker III started to run wild. To make matters worse Michigan committed to huge turnovers, and the Spartans fought their way back to win. Michigan suffers their first loss, but they still have a lot to play for. The Wolverines still control their own destiny but how will Jim Harbaugh’s team respond?

Iowa

What has happened to Iowa? Since their win to Penn State, they have only been able to score 14 points against Purdue and Wisconsin combined. The Badgers controlled this football game from start to finish, winning the game in the trenches. The Iowa offense couldn’t move the ball at all against the tough Badgers defense. The Hawkeyes no longer control their own destiny in the Big Ten West and will need some help to get to the Big Ten Championship.

Pitt

We all knew it wasn’t going to last forever. It is a little shocking that Pitt would lose to Miami though. The Hurricanes have lost some close games, but sometimes look uninspired. Van Dyke had a career day against the Panthers, and despite the Pitt offense putting up numbers, it wasn’t enough against Miami at home. Pitt should have an easy win against Duke, but then will be challenged against UNC and Virginia two teams that can put up just as many points as them.

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